Septima Poinsette Clark (1898-1987) was a civil rights activist and educator. She was instrumental in founding nearly 900 citizenship schools, which ultimately helped over 50,000 African-Americans register to vote. She is known as, “The Mother of the Movement” for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.
Clark was a teacher and fierce advocate for literacy, education, and social progress. As a school teacher, she protested and won the right for African-Americans to teach in public schools in South Carolina. Clark worked with Martin Luther King Jr., the NAACP, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference throughout her lifetime to improve the rights of African-American people.
She developed the Citizenship School model which held literacy classes and citizen workshops that helped enable African-Americans to register and vote. She taught some of the most influential activists, including Rosa Parks, and Fannie Lou Hamer. She was a catalyst for change in the United States by empowering Black communities and helping African-American’s gain the right to vote.
Clark embraced chaos, fought ignorance, and sought to empower people through literacy. Today we honor her vital contributions to America, She Made History.
We need to be taught to study rather than believe, to inquire rather than to affirm.